Frustrated Ferrari F1 team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said he was shocked by Sebastian Vettel’s “unfair” penalty that demoted him to fifth in Mexican Grand Prix race.
Max Verstappen originally finished third on the line but the FIA pushed him off the podium with a steward ruling.
Vettel was put on the podium in his place, only to be also relegated by the FIA in a post-race decision about his duel with Verstappen.
But, following post-race investigation, Vettel was given a 10-seconds penalty for moving under braking as he defended fourth place at Turn Four against Ricciardo in the second last lap of the unrestrained race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The German was also given two penalty points on his licence.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull was classified third and his team-mate Verstappen lifted into fourth in the result.
Arrivabene said the decision, which cannot be appealed, was too harsh and unfair. He said Vettel’s podium had been “taken away by bureaucracy”.
The pair banged wheels and Vettel retained his position.
The stewards investigated the incident and found that Vettel made an “abnormal change of direction” that was “potentially dangerous” and handed him the time penalty.
“I’m surprised by the decision,” said Arrivabene.
“We gained a podium on the track and they removed it with their bureaucracy – fantastic. When they give a five or ten-seconds penalty, you can’t appeal. You just have to listen to what they decide…”
“It could have felt special… The whole team showed great stamina in staying united and focused in a difficult moment and our strategy made it possible to make good progress. Both drivers did a great job. He added
“Unfortunately, we were penalised by a decision which in my opinion is too harsh and somehow unfair.”